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Pacific launches crowd-funding effort to complete Moscone documentary

Sep 14, 2017

Driven to preserve the legacy of one of its truly accomplished alumni, University of the Pacific is launching a crowd-funding effort to raise $50,000 to complete a documentary film on George Moscone '53.

"As a state senator and later as mayor of San Francisco, George Moscone did so many very important things for underrepresented Californians," said Pacific President Pamela A. Eibeck. "It's vital that we complete this film so that his extremely powerful story is shared with generations to come. His political and social influence continues today because of his work, and we will continue to keep the flame of George Moscone's legacy burning brightly for the future."

Moscone, a 1953 Pacific graduate, was a leader who strongly advocated for the rights and protections for all people, regardless of color, gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation or age. The progressiveness of his San Francisco mayoral campaign gave the city its contemporary identity.

As a lawmaker and mayor, Moscone authored legislation to create the state's school lunch program, shepherded the first gay rights legislation in the country, and appointed Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man, to the San Francisco Board of Permit Appeals, a first for a major U.S. city. Moscone was instrumental in keeping the San Francisco Giants in the city when it appeared the team might move to Canada, and for overseeing the integration of women and racial and ethnic minorities into the San Francisco Police and Fire departments.

His accomplishments continue to positively affect Californians and California politics today despite the circumstances of his untimely death. Moscone was assassinated Nov. 28, 1978, in his City Hall office by former San Francisco Supervisor Dan White, along with Harvey Milk.

The George R. Moscone Institute for Public Service had been producing the Moscone documentary and conducted more than 80 interviews of his colleagues and contemporaries. About $450,000 of the necessary $500,000 was raised from more than 100 individuals and groups, leaving $50,000 to be raised. Pacific took over production of the film when the institute ceased operations in May, but continues to collaborate with the center's former board members. Pacific students in history and its brand new Media X program will work with a director this fall to complete the documentary.

"Completing the documentary is going to be very important to our students, political scholars and anyone who has an interested in California history," said Eibeck. "Couple the documentary with the other work we are doing to preserve Moscone's papers and his legacy, and it really is a treasure trove of information from a very interesting time in our state's history."

The documentary is not the only effort at Pacific to recognize Moscone's legacy. The Moscone family in March 2015 presented Pacific with Moscone's long-stored papers that will give scholars access to personal letters, political correspondence, draft speeches and other materials that bear witness to one of the most transformational eras in California politics. A National Archives grant of more than $47,000 from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission will be used to digitize 250 or so items from that collection for better access by scholars. A tribute to Moscone was hosted at Pacific's San Francisco Campus to coincide with the March 26, 2015, announcement of the gift. There is also a tribute website.

To help close the $50,000 gap, visit the crowd-funding website at go.pacific.edu/MosconeFilm.

Media contact:

Keith Michaud | 209.946.3275 (office) | 209.470.3206 (cell) | kmichaud@pacific.edu

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